Actility is set to deploy a large-scale LoRaWAN network in order to improve the monitoring of New Zealand’s second largest electricity distribution network. Smart Grid sensors will be installed in order to detect in real-time all malfunctions that may occur on various sections of the grid and therefore to ensure the power network is safe, secure and resilient.
Actility has partnered with local utility company Powerco, which will connect smart sensors and manage its LoRaWAN network on its fully secured private instance of ThingPark Enterprise IoT platform.
LoRaWAN open standard connectivity technology is a proven leader for smart utility applications, delivering solutions that are easy to scale, optimizing operational cost and reducing utility waste. It allows utility companies to leverage its extremely long-range and low-power capabilities to cover thousands of kilometers of its electricity network at low cost, especially in remote areas which are challenging to reach, and to install LoRaWAN devices providing data in real time, while lasting for years on one battery charge.
The sensors, connected through LoRaWAN, will provide fault, performance and metering information, allowing to more easily detect and locate power outages, identify underperforming assets, and understand power demand. It also means sending field crews to remote locations for routine checks on equipment will no longer be necessary.
Serving urban and rural households, businesses and major industrial and commercial sites around the North Island of New Zealand, the Powerco grid represents 28,000 kilometres of overhead lines and underground cables, some of which are located in remote or challenging terrain.
Starting in June 2021, 200 gateways will be installed around the network over 24 months and LoRaWAN-connected sensors placed on electricity assets such as power poles, lines and transformers. Each gateway can monitor hundreds of sensors, creating a comprehensive picture of the network.
Ian Skipworth, General Manager Service Delivery and Systems Operations says the technology will improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the network for customers.